A fight broke out in a closed-door meeting of House Democrats over climate change as a powerful veteran lawmaker fought with freshman star Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members-elect over the creation of a special panel for the issue.
New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, incoming chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee — backed by a number of other committee members — slammed the creation of the new climate panel, according to multiple sources in the room. Pallone argued that his committee and other existing panels within the House could take on the issue aggressively.
But Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rep.-elect Joe Neguse (Colo.) and some of the other progressive incoming lawmakers fought back, saying they ran on the issue and needed to do it. Ocasio-Cortez earlier this week pushed for a “Green New Deal” as she backed more than 200 young protesters at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office.
Ocasio-Cortez later said it wasn’t a direct confrontation with Pallone in a tweet late Thursday.